Shimla/Dharamshala, Aug 15: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today announced release of six per cent additional DA to employees and pensioners of the state government with effect from January 1 this year, which would cost Rs 330 crore more to the state exchequer annually.
Presiding over the state-level function on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day at Solan, he said the government has already released five per cent interim relief to employees and pensioners, and six per cent additional DA would be paid from October.
Singh, who unfurled the national flag and inspected the march-past at the function, listed the achievements of his government and claimed the state has made "remarkable progress" in education, health, construction of roads, and opening and upgradation of over 1,000 schools.
Twenty-four Industrial Training Institutes, two engineering colleges and 41 government degree colleges have been opened, mostly in rural areas in the last three years. The enrollment of girls in higher education has surpassed that of boys, the Chief Minister claimed.
An IIT, IIM and Fine Arts College are coming up in Una, Sirmaur and Shimla, four medical colleges at Nahan, Chamba, Hamirpur and Mandi and AIIMS at Bilaspur, he said, adding 135 health institutions have been opened and upgraded and 41,500 youth given jobs during the tenure of the present government.
Asserting that welfare of people is top on the agenda of the government, he said till date 1.27 lakh youth have benefited from Skill Development Allowance Scheme. Contractual employees and daily wagers who have completed five years and seven years of service respectively are being regularised.
Rs 667 crore has been spent under the State Food Subsidy Scheme in the last three years, and over 37 lakh people are being provided food security under 'Rajiv Ann Yojana', he added.
Independence Day was also celebrated elsewhere in the states including the districts and Himachal Pradesh High Court. On the occasion, Governor Acharya Devvrat hosted "At Home" at Raj Bhawan.
Meanwhile, presiding over the district-level Independence Day function in Dharamshala, state transport minister G S Bali announced HRTC will have Super Luxury Scania AC buses in its fleet, adding, "Such buses will be used to connect district headquarters with Shimla."
Also, all state and Central government employees will get 15 per cent concession while travelling in HRTC buses within the state, while HIV patients shall travel free of cost, he said. "HRTC will provide taxi service in Shimla, Dharamshala, Chamba and Manali, within next two months, Bali added.